Category Archives: Relationships

Death is Cruel Without Life Insurance or a Will!

Man carrying a sad small child

I write this on the day I will attend the funeral of my 52 year old cousin-n-law. The specific facts are still not known but he crashed his motorcycle and left behind a wife without life insurance or a will.

Because Samuel’s wife, my cousin Kate, needs assistance to care for herself, Hillary, her 20 year old daughter, must now contemplate life on a $10/hour wage with an adult dependent.

The details of the story actually get worse but suffice it to say, the suddenness of death is real and it has come to my family in a very real way.

As a mid-40’s adult, I have dealt with quite a few family deaths and a lot more when you consider friends and colleagues. However, I now work in a business in which the foundational asset we teach clients to use is a very specifically designed“life insurance” contract and, (with shame I admit), I never sold it for “death benefit.”

When I purchased my first whole life insurance contract in 2008, I was motivated by the power of the “Private Reserve System” which allows me to realize growth on money I plan to spend anyway (anything from taxes to charities to everything in between). What is even more exciting is this same asset will ensure I have 30-50% more spendable income – guaranteed – when I retire. Point being, “death benefit” was more of an afterthought on my quest to build secure assets and like most people, it did not resonate with much credence (or even “need”) until now.




In the spirit of full disclosure, before I understood the economic power of owning life insurance, I not only did not have life insurance, I did not have a will…..and I was a single mother who would cry with joy knowing I had been blessed with such a lovely creation as my son. Point being, I expressed heartfelt and real love for my child, but I had nothing in place to legally and financially protect him.

Folks, I was ignorant. I did not say that I am incapable of thinking at a high level, but I was once IGNORANT – UNKNOWING – MISSING THE FACTS – INEXPERIENCED – UNAWARE.

While I never want to be a product salesperson, please allow me to at least help you establish a term policy to protect those you love. If you are willing to take some time to learn, I can teach you how to use life insurance as an ASSET in a truly diversified wealth strategy. However, at least, for the sake of those you love, buy life insurance!

Of course, if you live in Texas I can introduce you to my wills & trust lawyer or help you find one in the state in which you live. Either way, please, set as your #1 priority that you will get life insurance and establish a will before the end of this quarter.

Client Spotlight: Lorie Burch

Lorie Burch, Wills & Trust Attorney, The Law office of Lorie. L. Burch, PC.

www.burch-law.com / lorie@burch-law.com / 972-385-0558

 If you interact with April Client SpotlightLorie Burch for very long, you will hear her exclaim, “If you do not have a will….” and in a loud, enthusiastic voice you will respond in unison with those around you, “….then the State of Texas has one for you!”

 While a newcomer to the scene will chuckle upon hearing the robust response of the crowd, and she will immediately acknowledge even the severity of this truth, almost 70% of US citizens do not have a will. When I asked Lorie why people abdicate their responsibility to care for those around them, she stated people do not have this vital legal document due to: (1) procrastination, (2) no understanding of how the law really works, and (3) cost.

 While no one can help someone who won’t help themselves, lack of understanding can be overcome and cost is relative. In both cases, Lorie has been an exceptional and patient teacher for me and my family and, ultimately, the cost paled in comparison to the education and peace of mind we now have as a family.

 2013-10-27 LorieBurchLorie is passionate about her legal practice because she deals with subject matter and life events that are the most difficult for people  to confront. As such, when the inevitable occurs, those who have relied on a loved one who has passed away not only know what this person would have wanted to occur, but they have the power to do something about it. Lorie told me, “Creating a will has very little to do with what you have. It is about making this difficult time as easy for your loved ones as possible by letting them know your wishes and empowering them to carry those wishes out.”

 When Lorie is not helping clients create legal peace of mind, she is busy pouring her heart and soul into women all around the country as the current National President of the oldest personal and professional development organization for working women, the American Business Women’s Association – ABWA. While she has officially been a member for nine years, Lorie grew up in ABWA because her mother is a long time member. When I asked Lorie what it is about ABWA that is so special she stated:

 “From my earliest days all I knew is that I wanted to make a difference and change the world. The path God has put me on is not only what I do for a living but it is to support and promote the women of ABWA. I am passionate about helping ABWA because they have helped me be a more complete person. My biggest passion is advocacy – specifically equal rights for the LGBT community and I advocate on a local and national level. It is in ABWA that these two passions come to life as I was completely accepted, supported, promoted and even celebrated for all aspects of who I am- ABWA allowed me to be me. As such, I want to help change hearts and minds so that each person can live to their full potential which means living comfortably and productively in their own skin. This is what ABWA did for me!”

 To learn more about ABWA, feel free to contact Lorie directly at lorie@burch-law.com. Oh, and if you do contact her, get ready to have the phone answered by the most absolutely divine Senior Paralegal, Matthew. J

9 of 28 – We Have 2 Ears and 1 Mouth for a Reason

While the marriage book I am reading does not go too deep into any area, it has some pearls of wisdom that make sense for anyone regardless of their marital status because we are all involved in relationships. We relate to our bosses, our employees, our co-workers, our clients, our pastors, the coach of kid’s sports team, our neighbors….the list goes on. We relate to everyone and the key question to ask yourself is – How well do I relate? How strong are my relationships? How deep do they go? How “healthy” are they? Does my relating to others generally cause joy or discomfort or even anger? How well do I relate? As such, what I like most about this very quick read is the fact that the focus is consistently placed on the individual because no matter how much we think it is them; no matter how much I think they are doing it to me; the truth is that it ain’t them and they are not doing it to me, they are just doing it.  What I am trying to convey is that people do not spend more than a few seconds thinking about me because they vast majority of the time they are focused on themselves. Thus, if I want to be effective and even successful in my relationships, I need to spend time making sure I am a whole and complete person who can actually listen with attention and intention rather than waiting my turn to speak. Thus, from “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts,” snippets from Question 4: Can You Say What You Mean and Understand What You Hear? Whether a marriage sinks or swims depends on how well partners send and receive messages, how well they say what they mean and understand what they hear. (p.78) A couple’s ability to communicate is the single most important contributor to a stable and satisfying marriage….one of the most important skills you can learn is how to talk so you mate will listen and how to listen so you mate will talk. (p.79) It is basic human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain. But people actually avoid pain first and then seek pleasure. (p.81) Good communication is built first on who you are – and only later on what you do. Before practicing communication “techniques,” these couple work on who they are as people. Your partner will not trust you if he or she feels you are not genuine. Without genuineness, little else in marriage matters. (p.84) Authenticity is something you are, not something you do. It comes from the heart, not the hands. (p.85) Communication is not what you say, but what your partner understands by what you say….We often think about learning “good communication skills” as learning to express ourselves more clearly, getting our message across. In fact, however, 98 percent of good communication is listening. “ (p.88)

8 of 28 – It Always Come Down To Personal Responsibility

I have been writing about the “Seven Questions To Ask Before – And After – You Marry” from the book “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.” Question #3 is: Have you developed the habit of happiness? And it is at this point in the book that I felt particularly compelled to write because the wisdom offered extends to everyone regardless of your “significant other” status. The trick is to get the right attitude in spite of atmospheric conditions….Happy couples decide to be happy. In spite of the troubles life deals them, they make happiness a habit….The most important characteristic of a marriageable person is the habit of happiness. (p.60) Happiness in marriage has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with will. (p.61) Humans develop a habit of programming their minds to be either mostly negative or mostly positive….By force of habit, each of us is either basically positive or basically negative. Our circumstances change with the weather, but our attitudes stay the same. The negative person defends his attitudes with the rationale of being realistic, while the positive person looks beyond the current state of affairs and sees people and situations in terms of possibilities. (p.63) Negative interpretations are guaranteed to sap the happiness out of a marriage. But how do we cultivate positive attitudes when our spouses do something we dislike? The answer lies in taking responsibility for our own feelings. (p.64) “They have taken from me everything I have – except the power to choose my own attitude.” [Victor Frankl’s thoughts as he stood naked, starved and beaten in front of his Nazi inquisitors who had already killed everyone in his family.] Research reveals that the level of a couple’s joy is determined by each partner’s ability to adjust to things beyond his or her control. Every happy couple has learned to find the right attitude in spite of the conditions they find themselves in. (p.66) Without the capacity to rise above your circumstances, you will never cultivate happiness. You may have more success, beauty, intelligence, health and wealth than anyone else, but if you do not cultivate contentment in every circumstance, unhappiness is certain. (p.68) Every symptomatic problem in marriage [in ANY relationship] can be traced to a breakdown in personal responsibility….The habit of blaming your spouse is completely contrary to the principle of taking responsibility for your own attitude. (p.72) The habit of happiness is an inside job. If you find the right attitude in spite of atmospheric conditions, if you program your mind with positive impulses, and if you adjust to things beyond your control, you will discover that living happily ever after need not be a myth. (p.75)

7 of 28 – Commitment Is Part Of Identity

Yesterday I wrote about Question 1 from “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions To Ask Before – And After – You Marry.” Because I indicated that I was single, several people made comments based on their assumption that my singleness must bother me. While I am technically “single” because I am not “married,” there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.   So, again I will share some key quotes from question #2: “Can you identify you love style?” Ideally these will resonate with you regardless of your status.  Love’s ultimate paradox is two beings becoming one, yet remaining two. (p.36) The “triangular model” of love: passion, intimacy, and commitment. The biological side of the triangle is passion….passion is sensual and sexual. (p.37) Pure passion is self-seeking until it is linked with intimacy. The emotional side of love’s triangle is intimacy…..Intimacy has a “best friend” or “soul mate” quality about it….Intimacy fills our heart’s deepest longings for closeness and acceptance. (p.38) The cognitive and willful side of the love triangle is commitment….Commitment says, “I love  you because you are you, not because of what you do or how I feel.”…The longevity of love and the health of a marriage depend mightily on the strength of commitment. (p.39) Lifelong love does not happen by chance but is an art that must be learned, practiced, and honed. (p.50) Love must be fed and nurtured….first and foremost it demands time. Studies indicate that marital happiness is highly correlated with the amount of time spent together. (p.53) Spirituality is the soul of marriage – without spiritual roots, couples are left with an emptiness and superficiality that prevent genuine intimacy. (p.54) There may be nothing more important in a marriage than a determination that it shall persist. (p.55) When we contradict our commitments, we lose ourselves and suffer an identity crisis. You can strength your commitment to your partner by choosing to make it a vital part of your being, by giving it top priority, so much so that to break it is to break who you are. (p.56) It is this final reality of commitment as integral to who we are that speaks to me as I work with clients to get more peace and freedom within their overall economy. If you don't see the connection for yourself, contact me and let's build something together.

Blog 6 of 28: What’s Your Game Plan for A Successful Marriage?

“Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts” is the current book I am reading as I delve in the nature of successful relationships. While I am blessed to have come to terms with living single and celibate for the rest of my life, I trust that God may have other plans for me. Thus, I research, I read, I explore my thoughts and feelings and discuss them with others including a man who has inspired me to journey along this path. As such, I find it worthwhile to share some key quotes that resonate regardless of whether you are dating someone you think “may be the one” or you are already married or you are taking a break and enjoying your singleness.  These truths affect almost anyone with whom you have a close relationship. Because the sub-title of the book is “Seven Questions To Ask Before – And After – You Marry” I will share what glean from one question at a time. The following are some key ideas from the intro and Question #1: Have you faced the myths of marriage with honesty? Planning the perfect wedding too often takes precedence over planning a successful marriage. And lack of planning is the ultimate saboteur or marriage. (p.15) We have learned that living happily ever after is less a mystery than it is the mastery of certain skills. (p.16) Most incongruous expectations fall into two major categories: unspoken rules and unconscious roles. (p.21) Marriage means giving up a carefree lifestyle and coming to terms with new limits. It means unexpected inconveniences….the most dramatic loss experienced in a new marriage is the idealized image you have of your partner. (p.26) We marry an image and only later discover the real person. (p.27) Marriage is, in actual fact, just a way of living. Before marriage, we don’t expect life to be all sunshine and roses, but we seem to expect life after marriage to be that way….Most of the complaints about matrimony arise not because it is worse than the rest of life, but because it is not incomparably better. (p.29) If you can not extrapolate these truths into ALL areas in your life and see why discontent is rampant in the areas of finances, career, child-rearing, health, knowledge, etc., please reach out and allow me to help you explore some truths for yourself.